Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 114, Issue 1, pp 155–169

The Roles of Leadership Styles in Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Shuili Du
  • Valérie Swaen
  • Adam Lindgreen
  • Sankar Sen

DOI: 10.1007/s10551-012-1333-3

Cite this article as:
Du, S., Swaen, V., Lindgreen, A. et al. J Bus Ethics (2013) 114: 155. doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1333-3


This research investigates the interplay between leadership styles and institutional corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. A large-scale field survey of managers reveals that firms with greater transformational leadership are more likely to engage in institutional CSR practices, whereas transactional leadership is not associated with such practices. Furthermore, stakeholder-oriented marketing reinforces the positive link between transformational leadership and institutional CSR practices. Finally, transactional leadership enhances, whereas transformational leadership diminishes, the positive relationship between institutional CSR practices and organizational outcomes. This research highlights the differential roles that transformational and transactional leadership styles play for a firm’s institutional CSR practices and has significant implications for theory and practice.


Corporate social responsibility Transformational leadership Transactional leadership Stakeholder-oriented marketing Organizational outcomes 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuili Du
    • 1
  • Valérie Swaen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Adam Lindgreen
    • 4
  • Sankar Sen
    • 5
  1. 1.Simmons School of ManagementBostonUSA
  2. 2.Louvain School of ManagementUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.IESEG School of ManagementLilleFrance
  4. 4.Department of Marketing, Cardiff Business SchoolUniversity of CardiffCardiffUK
  5. 5.Department of Marketing & International Business, Zicklin School of BusinessBaruch College/City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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